Preparation of Silica Thin Films by Novel Wet Process and Study of Their Optical Properties
Silicon dioxide (SiO2) thin films have gained considerable attention because of their various industrial applications. For example, SiO2 thin films are used in superhydrophilic self-cleaning surface glass, UV protection films, anti-reflection coatings, and insulating materials. Recently, many processes such as vacuum evaporation, sputtering, chemical vapor deposition, and spin coating have been widely applied to prepare thin films of functionally graded materials. However, these processes suffer from several engineering problems. For example, a special apparatus is required for the deposition of films, and conventional wet processes are not suitable for coating the surfaces of substrates with a large surface area and complex morphology. In this study, we investigated the film morphology and optical properties of SiO2 films prepared by a novel technique, namely, liquid phase deposition (LPD). Images of the SiO2 films were obtained by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) in order to study the surface morphology of these films: these images indicate that films deposited with different reaction times were uniform and dense and were composed of pure silica. Optical properties such as refractive index and transmittance were estimated by UV-vis spectroscopy and ellipsometry. SiO2 films with porous structures at the nanometer scale (100–250 nm) were successfully produced by LPD. The deposited film had excellent transmittance in the visible wavelength region.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 February 2012
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